With so many All Blacks doing provincial rugby duty in tonight's Ranfurly Shield clash between Wellington and Canterbury, the game is being seen the biggest pool match of this years championship.
The challengers, Canterbury, boast both the All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and legendary play-maker, first five Dan Carter.
But the Lions assistant coach Andre Bell says with the Shield at stake and Wellington also having most of their national players back, it's an exciting time for the whole competition.
Bell says it for Lions younger players, tonight will be a test of the level of intensity they will need to be able to bring to play top-flight rugby.
And John Schwalger, who is playing his 50th match for the Wellington says their All Blacks will add another level to the game.